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News


01/31/2018

THE MARTIN COUNTY BOARD HELD A WORK SESSION TUESDAY. THE MAIN TOPIC WAS INFORMATION ABOUT THE RE-DO OF A STUDY COMMISSIONERS REQUESTED FOR A NEW JUSTICE CENTER, FIRST UNDERTAKEN IN 2008.

JONATHAN LOOSE OF WOLD ARCHITECTS PRESENTED THE NEW WORK PLAN WITH SOME MEMBERS OF THE JUSTICE CENTER STUDY COMMITTEE IN ATTENDANCE. THE WORK PLAN INVOLVED TALK ABOUT RENOVATION OR REPLACEMENT OF THE CURRENT LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER AND POSSIBLE RENOVATIONS OF THE HISTORIC MARTIN COUNTY COURTHOUSE.

THE STUDY FOUND SEVERAL DEFICIENCIES WITH THE CURRENT STRUCTURES DUE TO AGE, CHANGING NEEDS AND SECURITY ISSUES. ONE BIG PROBLEM MENTIONED BY LOOSE IS THE MIXING OF A LOT OF DIFFERENT GROUPS ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO MOVING PRISONERS FROM THE JAIL IN THE SECURITY BUILDING TO THE MAIN COURTROOM IN THE COURTHOUSE. OTHER EXAMPLES WERE ALSO OFFERED. THE JAIL ITSELF WITH CAPACITY AND COSTS OF TRANSPORTING PRISONERS ELSEWHERE, PLUS JAIL SPACES NOT MEETING DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS GUIDELINES.

SEVERAL OPTIONS WERE OFFERED INCLUDING A BUILDING A NEW JUSTICE CENTER OFF SITE TO HOUSE THE JAIL. SHERIFF'S OFFICE, POLICE, COURTS, CORRECTIONS AND COUNTY ATTORNEY. THE ESTIMATED COST FOR THAT BEING 41.5 MILLION DOLLARS. ANOTHER OPTION HAD BUILDING A NEW LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER AND JAIL OFF SITE, WITH PLAN FOR FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CURRENT SECURITY BUILDING AT A COST OF 34.9 MILLION.

A THIRD OPTION MENTIONED WOULD BE TO CONSTRUCT A NEW JAIL OFF SITE, LEAVING THE SECURITY BUILDING AS IS AT A COST OF 18 MILLION. A FOURTH OPTION TO RENOVATE AND ADD ON TO THE CURRENT SECURITY BUILDING AT AN ESTIMATED COST OF 22 MILLION DOLLARS.

BILL FAHEY, NORTHLAND SECURITIES AND THE COUNTY'S FINANCIAL CONSULTANT, DISCUSSED FINANCING OPTIONS FOR THE PROJECT. HE MENTIONED THE LIKELIHOOD OF A VERY LARGE BONDING BILL SESSION THIS SPRING AND THAT THE COUNTY BOARD SHOULD GET TOGETHER WITH LOCAL LEGISLATORS AND LET THEM KNOW THAT WE WANT FOR MARTIN COUNTY IS $5 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE SMALLER BUILDING AND 10 MILLION FOR THE LARGER BUILDING. FAHEY SAID THIS WAS A GRANT AND NOT A LOAN.

COMMISSIONERS APPRECIATED THE WORK DONE BY WOLD AND THE COMMITTEE ON THE STUDY AND WILL DISCUSS THE ISSUE MORE IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND SHARED THE CONCERN OF THE COMMITTEE THAT DOING NOTHING IS NO LONGER AN OPTION.


ROD HALVORSEN
© 2015 KSUM KFMC


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